A special form of radiation has been found to quickly kill more than 99% of coronavirus from surfaces, Israeli study results found.
New research from scientists at Israel's Ariel University discovered that radiation known as millimeter waves kills corona and polio viruses from surfaces within two seconds, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
The study's results could have important implications on how to disinfect environments and equipment quickly and efficiently, the Post said.
Prof. Moshe Einat, from the university’s Department of Electrical Engineering, told the Post his team — which focuses on electromagnetic radiation sources — began working with molecular biologist Dr. Gabi Gerlitz after the COVID-19 pandemic began. They focused on using millimeter waves to kill the viruses.
"We saw that the radiation could increase the temperature of the vials and therefore kill the virus," Gerlitz told the Post.
Although presently it does not appear that the radiation can target the virus in the human body, "it can be very useful for rooms, equipment, and all form of surfaces that need to be clear from any virus and coronavirus specifically," Gerlitz added.
Gerlitz told the Post that millimeter waves are very gentle and can be used on delicate surfaces, such as electronic equipment.
"Other methods currently used for this purpose, like UV radiation, take minutes and sometimes even a full hour, and in addition, they might be toxic for humans, which makes the disinfection process very impractical," Gerlitz said. "With our technique, we have cleared almost 99.9% of the virus within two seconds."
The scientists saw similar results when millimeter waves were used on the polio virus.
"We wanted to prove that the method works with viruses in general," Gerlitz said.
Millimeter waves are being examined in other ways, too.
Preliminary medical field research has shown that millimeter waves can be very effective in targeting tumors and killing cancerous cells. They also can be used to transfer energy and electricity without using wires, and in the manufacturing process of unique materials, such as synthetic diamonds.
"They make the process go much faster than the current ones," Einat told the Post.
Gerlitz said the research will focus on using millimeter waves to disinfect water.
"Water contamination is a worldwide problem," Gerlitz said. "We think that this could offer a solution for it."
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